The story of Spurs 1963 European Cup-Winners' Cup win - The Final v Athletico Madrid
Brian Judson wrote this series on the fortieth anniversary of these events
On May 15th 1963, Spurs became the first British side to win the now
defunct European Cup-Winners Cup. In those days, there were not so many
European matches and the tension in the Cup-Winners-Cup was not as
stifling as European matches are today.
Danny Blanchflower was the hero of the evening. Before the match, Bill
Nicholson built up Atletico Madrid in such a way that Blanchflower could
see the confidence drain from Tottenham. So he quite calmly set out to put
their minds at rest, pointing out the opposition were probably being told
much the same by their management.
Before the game, Blanchflower approached their captain and noted they had
a cotton playing strip. "Cotton?" he said. "Why, we are wearing NYLON!" in
a superior one-up way.
The only absentee from the team was Mackay, who was injured. Spurs
dominated the first half. Bobby Smith was twice upended by Griffa and
quite clearly stamped on. But Smith did not rise to the bait.
Greaves struck in the 16th minute when Smith sent Jones down the right
wing. He steadied himself and centred to Greaves, who volleyed into the
Blanchflower and Dyson both narrowly missed before White struck in the
35th minute. Jones and Dyson swapped passes from each wing with the
Spanish side half-clearing the ball which ran as far as White. The Scot
quickly brought the ball under control and volleyed it past the
Soon after, Griffa chopped down White, which left him limping.There were
no substitutes in those days. Henry was also limping after making a
desperate tackle as the Spanish side threatened to break through.
Early in the second half, the Spanish side won a penalty kick when Henry
blocked a certain goal with his hand. Collar took the penalty and Brown
just failed to fingertip the ball away.
Many of the Spurs side were now carrying injuries. Jones was brought down
in midflight by Rodriguez. Both squared up to each other before the
But Dyson struck to put Spurs 3-1 ahead in the 68th minute. He was wide on
the left and punted the ball goalwards which the goalkeeper mis-judged and
allowed to drop into the empty goal.
Soon afterwards, Greaves scored one of his trademark goals to take the
score line to 4-1 after Dyson had provided the centre.
Three minutes from the end, Dyson completed the rout with another long
range shot that the Spanish defence failed to deal with.
Spurs had won the Cup!
Spurs 5 Athletico Madrid 1 - Attendance:- 40,000
Spurs scorers:- Greaves (2), White, Dyson (2)
Spurs team:- Brown; Baker, Henry; Blanchflower, Norman, Marchi; Jones, White, R. Smith, Greaves, Dyson.
This, though, was the last honour the Double side picked up. The following
season, the squad began to break up. Blanchflower dropped out of the team
after Spurs were beaten at Old Trafford. Mackay sustained a broken leg
that was to lead to a two year absence from the team. And White was to
tragically die on a golf course in the summer of 1964.
Salute the memory of the Double side!
· Introduction to the Cup-Winners Cup series
· Round One - Spurs beat Rangers 8-4 on aggregate.
· Round Two - Spurs beat Slovan Bratislava 6-2 on aggregate.
· Semi-Final - Spurs beat OFK Belgrade 5-2 on aggregate.
Top of page | Back to Features